By Alex P80 Parks
One of the top talents of this renaissance of underground hip hop, New York’s Rome has been carving out his spot for several years now. His street stories, imaginative details and wordplay are among the best in the game. Brooklyn’s Rome Streetz and UK’s Farma Beats combine to drop Street Farmacy, a gritty album full of crime sagas, warnings and bleak realities. Rome takes listeners on a jaunt, past all the broken Pyrex, right through the dope spots, with fisheye looks from the fiends with dirty needles. The beats simultaneously pull your ears on a different journey.. Get your passports ready, as Farma seems to use samples from a variety of genres from all across the globe.
Rome Streetz is an undeniable talent. His singular voice aside, technically, Rome is an amazingly talented emcee. He has the ability to tell a story in vivid detail. Rome Streetz dishes all the dirt he’s done in his past. Not as a braggart, but as a cautionary tale. This is the life, with full sensory accounts to immerse the listener in his world. Conceptually, he can stay on-topic without sounding unimaginative. Rome continues to push his name up in the ranks of the elite emcees.
Farma typically stays pretty minimal with his beats. That simplicity allows listeners to really focus on clarity, audio fidelity and the subtleties working in harmony. While Farma may employ some dusty samples, his production is always clean, well-mixed and never seems rushed or forced. The samples seem to be pulled from every continent, with elements that echo sounds from Italy, Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Asia.
Obviously, Rome’s done well selecting beats in the past, and this album proves no exception. Farma makes it easier for Rome though, as his beats on this album are on-point. Farma provides the appropriate soundscape for Rome’s nostalgic gritty NY street talk.
“Nasal Drip” sets the tone for the album with an apocalyptic nuclear wasteland vibe. With “Scale Tales,” Rome jumps right into his bagging-up days over a plinking piano riff and heavy bass plucks. You can hear the triple beam and hand scales being adjusted every so subtly in the background.
“Kobra Klutch” check out the visuals from this single :
“Crime Scene” is a robust cinematic joint full of imagery and notable details. Make sure this one is played with some decent speakers because Farma rattles your seats with this banger.
“I wonder how a person who died for nothing would feel,
They ghosts looking down on the body like ‘this shit real?’
swear to haunt the souls of the n***as that got them killed
Do they play the passenger, let Jesus take the wheel?
I heard somewhere your soul roams the Earth for thirty days,
After you die will god determine if Heaven or hell’s your fate.
Different moves I know he prolly wish he would make.
Go right instead of straight.. too late, he felt the .38.
I wonder is it life after or is it pitch black,
Your heart rate go flat (beeeeeep).. nothing after that.”
On “Evol x Etah” Rome describes the difficulties navigating true friendship, differentiating between those true and the ones looking for a handout. Untrustworthy crew members, jealousy and envy of those closest are all crucial to Rome’s doubts. A well arranged track featuring a haunting chopped vocal sample, this beat is perfect for Rome to question his social relationships and how he has to approach the people in his life. How quick people can change; How fine that line can be, from love to hate. Rome confesses his paranoia and anxieties as he tries to sort it out. He even provides some advice to remain a skeptic and scrutinize the motives of those in your circle.
“Wickedest Ting” feat Daniel Son Farma lays an ominous organ which resonates for the entire track. Both Rome and Daniel Son deliver top notch verses on this track. Obviously an ill duo to watch for future collaborations. Check the visuals here:
Farma chooses some of the best guitar samples for his beats, especially on “Feasting” feat. Magno Garcia and Flashius Clayton. This track would make the legendary Ennio Morricone proud with the arrangement and feel.
Rome takes you on this lavish feast, celebrating as he starts:
“Crack the lobster,
Pour the Henny,
Roll the reefa up
All these low frequency n***as can’t eat with us”
All three emcees deliver amazing verses. A standout track on this album and all of 2018, with a great combination of a well paced beat, an incredible sample and perfect verses from three of the underground’s best lyricists.
In “Street Farmacy” it’s as if Rome is shoving through a crowd at a Moroccan Flea Market, stressing the agents watching him, sweat drenched in the vintage polo gear.
Guest spots on Street Farmacy are used sparingly but come from top tier talents Daniel Son, SmooVth, Magno Garcia, Flashius Clayton, Mooch and Rigz. They all bring their own individual styles to pair well with Rome’s quick- tongued rhymes.
Rome and Farma connect for an excellent album. One of this year’s best, and Rome’s best complete work to date, Street Farmacy is full of vivid imagery. Epic stories of drug abuse, crack spots and crime tales flood this album with a harsh vision that listeners can’t pull themselves away from.
Cop the album here: